The Complete Guide to Buying Commercial Fridges: Everything to Know
It’s hard to imagine the food service industry without commercial fridges. Yet they’ve only been in use since 1870. We can only imagine how many lives they’ve saved by preventing foodborne pathogens from proliferating.
If you’re setting up a commercial kitchen, you must get the right types of commercial fridges for safe food storage and display. But what do you need to look for and what options are available?
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about buying the right commercial fridges for your business.
What to Look for in Commercial Fridges
A commercial fridge is a serious piece of kit that needs to stand and deliver day in, day out, in a hot environment. It should be able to maintain its temperature despite being opened multiple times during the day. Plus, it needs to be extremely reliable, otherwise, you’ll have to chuck out thousands of bucks worth of food.
Calculate the Capacity
Food businesses need to work to the parameters set by the Australian Food Safety Standards. For example, section 3.2.2 requires that a food business must cool cooked food from 60°C to 21°C within 2 hours and 21°C to 5°C within a further four hours.
You’ll need to calculate the storage space in your kitchen and the fridge capacity you’ll need to meet these requirements. Don’t forget to allow extra space for busy periods.
Get the Right Type of Fridge
You need fridges that fit in the space and do the job. First, measure the space you have and also the access. There’s no point having room in the kitchen only to find that the external doors are too small to bring it in.
Next, think about the job the fridge will do. If you plan to display cold food, you’ll need a display fridge that can keep the food at the correct temperature.
Think About the Future
Budgets are often tight when setting up a new commercial kitchen, but don’t skimp on fridge space. Think about how you’ll organise it if you need to expand or you get a bit busier. If you’ve only got the bare minimum capacity you need, you’ll always be stressed and put food safety at risk.
Useful Commercial Fridge Features
The pace in a commercial kitchen can be frenetic so you don’t want to waste time checking the fridge door is closed. Self-closing doors are essential. If you’ve got a lot of valuable stock, you might also want to think about lockable models.
Split door fridges also save energy because you don’t expose the entire fridge contents to warm air when you open the door.
Regular fridge maintenance is crucial to protecting your investment. Along with regular interior cleaning, you need to keep the condenser and coils clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain the warranty and keep it running efficiently.
Types of Commercial Fridges
Specific requirements vary from business to business but there are a few key types of commercial fridges to consider. Storage, display, and drinks fridges are the most common types used in the food service industry.
The solid door commercial fridge is a kitchen workhorse. It has either a top or bottom-mounted condenser.
Bottom-mounted condensers are a bit easier to clean, whereas top-mounted tend to get less dirty. There’s no clear winner — it’s down to your preference and the layout of your kitchen.
Slimmer models are great where space is tight and they make the best use of available vertical space. If you’ve got more space, a double-door fridge offers the biggest storage capacity of any type of commercial fridge apart from walk-ins.
Glass door options have a couple of advantages. In a commercial kitchen, you can see at a glance where everything is. This means you’ll have to open the door less often and for a shorter time, but they also use more energy.
If you’re short on vertical space, an undercounter fridge could be a great option. They are available in a huge range of capacities, from dinky 198-litre models to 538-litre beasts. They use a combination of drawers and doors to maximise storage space.
Whether you’re selling beer, cakes, meat or cold food, you need display fridges that keep food safe and are easy for customers to access.
Cold food displays are perfect for busy canteens. They’re safe and convenient for sandwich and salad bars. You can display a tempting range of prepared items, stored at a safe temperature until customers arrive.
Open display fridges are great for grab-and-go sandwiches, prepared snacks and drinks displays. Cake display fridges allow you to present a dazzling array of inviting cakes and pastries safely.
Upright glass door fridges allow customers to make their selection before they open the door. This minimizes the number of times to door is opened and reduces energy consumption.
No busy bottle-o is now complete without a commercial wine fridge. They come in single and dual-zone models that are perfect for keeping red and white wine at the optimum temperature. They’re also ideal for fine dining and casual restaurants with a strong wine offering.
How to Choose the Best Commercial Fridges
The best value fridge for your business is one that does the job and will stand the test of time. Reading online reviews is a good starting point. They will give you a real-life perspective on how fridges hold up in the heat of an Aussie summer.
Comparing fridge prices is also key. But remember that the cheapest fridge might not be the best value in the long run. Take your time to compare variables like energy consumption and capacity so you know you’re getting a fridge that’s up to the job.
Check Out Snowmaster Commercial Fridges
Choosing commercial fridges isn’t always easy. But make the right choice and you’ll streamline your kitchen operations.
At Snowmaster, we stock and distribute Australia’s leading brands of commercial fridges. We’ve got hundreds of sizes and types available for you to choose from. We have four warehouses and deliver Australia-wide!
Check out our vast selection of commercial fridges today!